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BETA Your feedback will help us improve the UK Plant Health Information Portal

Zebra chip disease of potato

Zebra chip disease of potato Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum is a serious pest of potato in the Americas and New Zealand. In November 2016 it was detected on potatoes for the first time anywhere in the EU by Spanish authorities in the autonomous region of Cantabria.  

The disease is difficult to distinguish from other diseases affecting potato. Symptoms in above ground plant parts include stunting, chlorosis and purpling of foliage, upward rolling and scorching of leaves and the production of aerial tubers. Fresh tubers may appear healthy, but often have brown or pink coloured collapsed stolons. On cutting, there may be patchy discolouration of tuber tissue but this is often indistinct or absent. Characteristic symptoms can often be seen in fried potato tubers. These include irregular dark brown streaking of tuber tissue giving rise to the name ‘zebra chip’.

Raw and fried potato slices infected with zebra chip.

Zebra chip slices2

Zebra chip symptoms in potato. Leaf curl and discoloration.

Zebra chip foliage symptoms

 Photos courtesy of Joe Munyaneza USDA/ARS


Further information

UK Zebra chip pest alert 

Contingency plan for glasshouse crops

Contingency plan for potato crops

Plant health risk register entry